Commends smarTours

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I would like to commend a tour company that “stepped up to the plate” when plans went awry.

On our Nov. 18-Dec. 10, ’03, trip to Australia, New Zealand and Fiji with smarTours (New York, NY; phone 800/337-7773 or visit www.smartours.net), a last-minute change in itinerary created a major scheduling fiasco during our two days in Cairns. The result was that we would be unable to go to the Great Barrier Reef unless we forfeited a prepaid $300 for another excursion.

My husband and I opted to book our own day trip to the reef and hope to recoup our losses after we got back to the U.S., although we were told at the time that we would not be able to get a refund for the excursion that we were unable to take. Upon our return home, smarTours graciously responded to my letter with a promised refund (which we have received).

In addition, before we left on the trip I had asked the company why we were given only one week’s notice of an itinerary change which affected nonrefundable, nonexchangeable tickets I had obtained for a performance at the Sydney Opera House. Instead of ignoring my inquiry, I received a personal call with an apology.

I did not expect nor ask smar­Tours to pay for my nonrefundable tickets, since I had made private arrangements directly with the Opera House. I did appreciate the apology, however. Fortunately, the Opera House made an exception and exchanged the tickets to conform to the itinerary change.

I congratulate smarTours for listening to my concerns and reacting in a responsible manner. We have traveled with the company before and look forward to traveling with them again.

GLENDA SCHILL
Dallas, TX

Please login or subscribe to ITN to read the entire post.

I would like to commend a tour company that “stepped up to the plate” when plans went awry.

On our Nov. 18-Dec. 10, ’03, trip to Australia, New Zealand and Fiji with smarTours (New York, NY; phone 800/337-7773 or visit www.smartours.net), a last-minute change in itinerary created a major scheduling fiasco during our two days in Cairns. The result was that we would be unable to go to the Great Barrier Reef unless we forfeited a prepaid $300 for another excursion.

My husband and I opted to book our own day trip to the reef and hope to recoup our losses after we got back to the U.S., although we were told at the time that we would not be able to get a refund for the excursion that we were unable to take. Upon our return home, smarTours graciously responded to my letter with a promised refund (which we have received).

In addition, before we left on the trip I had asked the company why we were given only one week’s notice of an itinerary change which affected nonrefundable, nonexchangeable tickets I had obtained for a performance at the Sydney Opera House. Instead of ignoring my inquiry, I received a personal call with an apology.

I did not expect nor ask smar­Tours to pay for my nonrefundable tickets, since I had made private arrangements directly with the Opera House. I did appreciate the apology, however. Fortunately, the Opera House made an exception and exchanged the tickets to conform to the itinerary change.

I congratulate smarTours for listening to my concerns and reacting in a responsible manner. We have traveled with the company before and look forward to traveling with them again.

GLENDA SCHILL
Dallas, TX